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Everything posted by SBCruiser

  1. SBCruiser

    Aqua Class

    I totally agree with Southampton Mike. We were unfortunate enough to have an Aqua class cabin that we chose for its midship position but it was in the shade all day because of the overhang from the deck above, which completely spoilt our cruise. There was also noise from the Lido deck above. We tried to move but the ship was full. We had booked Aqua class as some good friends of ours had raved about the food in the BLU restaurant but to be honest we didn't think it was anything special and we ate in the MDR as often. We definitely wouldn't pay the extra.
  2. SBCruiser

    MSC from Southampton, good idea or leave well alone?

    We've been with MSC four times, on Lirica and Musica in the Middle East and the Med and most recently on Fantasia in the Middle East this January. We've also been several times with Princess, Royal Caribbean and Celebrity and in our experience the US based cruise lines seem to be offering less and less for more money whilst the opposite is true of MSC. We love the more European mix of passengers, the standard of service is excellent, the cocktails are loads better than the other cruise lines (drinks packages are superb value too) and the food is very good (the pizzas on the buffet are to die for!!) If you've found an itinerary you like, go for it! I don't think you'll be disappointed.
  3. We've just returned from an excellent Middle East cruise from Dubai on MSC Fantasia. However, two aspects REALLY annoyed us. Firstly, the swarm of bar staff trying to sell all inclusive drinks packages the minute we arrived on board (some of whom used very aggressive selling techniques when we said we wanted to "think about it") and secondly the lack of information about each port of call which we felt was deliberate to encourage guests to buy their shore excursions. We even asked at guest services about how to get into Bahrain from the port independently and were told "you'll have to get a taxi but barter with them"! When we got off the ship there was a FREE shuttle bus right into the centre which nobody had been told about! We are very cynical about this obvious lack of information. Has anyone else experienced this on MSC (or other cruise lines)?
  4. SBCruiser

    Kory Simon

    Does anyone know which ship the Canadian pianist, Kory Simon, is working on just now? He was on the Emerald Princess in the Caribbean last January and he really made our cruise. I've heard he's currently on the Royal Princess and we were hoping he might be moving on to the new Regal for her maiden season!
  5. SBCruiser

    hotels at southampton

    I completely agree with Tim. The Novotel is an excellent option in terms of location, value for money and car park. We've stayed there twice now, in May 2012 and June 2013 and would highly recommend it. Someone else recommended the Hilton. In our experience it is a very poor example of a Hilton and it's not at all convenient for the port. We would never stay there again!